What Do You Make? A Teachers Perspective

With a new school term just around the corner I’m reminded of a story about a question posed to a teacher at a dinner party. “What do you make?” Now for many of us that might have been a bit challenging however I have to admit, I really enjoyed the way in which this particular teacher chose to respond. A lesson for us all.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I can make a C+ feel like a medal of honour and an A-­ feel like a slap in the face. How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study time in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups. No, you may not ask a question. Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom? Because you’re bored. And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home. Hi, this is Mr Mali I hope I haven’t called at a bad time, I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today. To the biggest bully in the grade, he said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you? It’s no big deal.”

And that was one of the noblest acts of courage I have seen. I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be. You want to know what I make? I make children wonder, I make them question. I make them criticise. I make them apologise and mean it. I make them write. I make them read, read, read.

I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful over and over and over again until they will never misspell either one of those words again. I make them show all their work in math and hide it on their final drafts in English. I make them understand that if you’ve got this, then you follow this, and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you give them this.

Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Good teachers make a substantial difference! Now, what about you?



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